4 ways Red Cross helped with freeing 82 Chibok girls

4 ways Red Cross helped with freeing 82 Chibok girls

"I can not express in a few words how happy I am to welcome our dear girls back to freedom", Mr Buhari told the girls in Abuja, according to his office.

Photos released by the government Sunday showed the rail-thin president addressing the Chibok schoolgirls at his official residence Sunday evening, a day after their release.

The number of Boko Haram suspects released by authorities remains unknown.

Though Boko Haram has abducted thousands of people during its eight-year insurgency that has spilled across Nigeria's borders, the Chibok mass kidnapping horrified the world and brought the extremist group global attention.

The names of the 82 Chibok schoolgirls were released on Monday, and parents anxiously scanned the list to see if their daughters were among those who were freed three years after their capture.

The government denied that it paid a ransom for the girls' release and said it had freed some detained Boko Haram militants in exchange for the girls. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

According to ICRC, on its Twitter page it stated that it acted as an intermediary between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government. Militants have killed more than 20,000 people, forced over 2.5 million to be displaced and adbucted thousands of women, forcing them into sexual slavery or marriages with its fighters. They were from a group of 276 abducted in north-eastern Nigeria in 2014.

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Last year, a first group of 21 Chibok girls was freed in October, and they have been in government care for medical attention, trauma counseling and rehabilitation. From there they will be flown to Abuja.

Following the weekend release, 113 Chibok schoolgirls remain missing.

Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross helped secure the 82 girls in "lengthy negotiations", the presidency said on its Twitter account.

"We appeal to all Nigerians, including the families and local communities of the liberated girls, to fully embrace them and provide all necessary support to ensure their reintegration into society", a statement said.

"Don't forget that all the girls are not held by one faction of Boko Haram; so it depends on the faction holding them, and how well or how badly they treated them". Others did not want to come home because they'd been radicalized by their captors, they said. Human rights advocates believe others could be among the young girls who have been used to carry out suicide bombing attacks.

Some parents did not live long enough to see their daughters released.

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